RELIGION

Pope;s upcoming visit thrills Catholic lawmakers, though it may induce discomfort for some

  • FILE - In this July 29, 2015 file photo, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio has been trying to get a pope to come address Congress for 20 years. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is thrilled beyond words. For Congress’ many Catholic lawmakers, the Holy Father’s visit will have special resonance, even as lawmakers of both parties brace for a message that could be challenging, even uncomfortable. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

    FILE - In this July 29, 2015 file photo, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio has been trying to get a pope to come address Congress for 20 years. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is thrilled beyond words. For Congress’ many Catholic lawmakers, the Holy Father’s visit will have special resonance, even as lawmakers of both parties brace for a message that could be challenging, even uncomfortable. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo July 29, 2015 photo, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio has been trying to get a pope to come address Congress for 20 years. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is thrilled beyond words. For Congress’ many Catholic lawmakers, the Holy Father’s visit will have special resonance, even as lawmakers of both parties brace for a message that could be challenging, even uncomfortable. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    In this photo July 29, 2015 photo, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio has been trying to get a pope to come address Congress for 20 years. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is thrilled beyond words. For Congress’ many Catholic lawmakers, the Holy Father’s visit will have special resonance, even as lawmakers of both parties brace for a message that could be challenging, even uncomfortable. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2015 file photo, Pope Francis speaks during the weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio has been trying to get a pope to come address Congress for 20 years. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is thrilled beyond words. For Congress’ many Catholic lawmakers, the Holy Father’s visit will have special resonance, even as lawmakers of both parties brace for a message that could be challenging, even uncomfortable. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2015 file photo, Pope Francis speaks during the weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio has been trying to get a pope to come address Congress for 20 years. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is thrilled beyond words. For Congress’ many Catholic lawmakers, the Holy Father’s visit will have special resonance, even as lawmakers of both parties brace for a message that could be challenging, even uncomfortable. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)  (The Associated Press)

House Speaker John Boehner has been trying for 20 years to get a pope to come talk to Congress.

Now it's finally happening.

And House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi says it's "thrilling beyond words."

This week's historic address by Pope Francis to a joint meeting of Congress has lawmakers of all political affiliations and religious backgrounds buzzing.

For the many Catholic lawmakers on Capitol Hill, it's an occasion of special significance, even as they brace for the unconventional pontiff to make both parties squirm with his focus on hot-button political and social issues.

Many lawmakers hope the leader of the globe's 1.2 billion Catholics will provoke members of Congress to pause, reflect and refrain, if only temporarily, from partisan struggles and political bickering